ASU track and field throwers prepare to compete at Triton Invitational

Sophomore pole vaulter Andrea Kemmerrer takes a running start before jumping over the bar during the Sun Angel Track Classic at Sun Angel Stadium on Saturday, April 12. (Photo by Becca Smouse)

Sophomore pole vaulter Andrea Kemmerrer takes a running start before jumping over the bar during the Sun Angel Track Classic at Sun Angel Stadium on Saturday, April 12. (Photo by Becca Smouse)

 

After a trip to Walnut, Calif., for the Mt. SAC Relays, the majority of the ASU men’s and women’s track and field team will be taking the week to train and prepare for the Double Dual in Tucson on May 3. The throwers will be making the trip this week to La Jolla, Calif. for the Triton Invitational.

“This weekend, the throwers will be involved in San Diego,” coach Greg Kraft said. “And we’re looking for continued improvement there. We’ve been really dinged up in the throws.”

Injuries have been an issue for some of the throwers on the team so far this outdoor season. Redshirt senior and reigning discus national champion Anna Jelmini has been dealing with a hand injury she sustained at the indoor championships. Kraft said that both redshirt freshman Thomas Anderson and redshirt senior Nathan Estes have also been nursing hand injuries. Redshirt junior Michael Ohakwe has also been dealing with some back pains.

 

 

“We’re looking to get those guys back healthy,” Kraft said.

Kraft also said that the throwers were the only part of the team that did not compete at Mt. SAC, the idea being to rest them for the Pac-12 championships and the national outdoor meet.

“I was really pleased with the weekend at Mt. SAC, but also I’m looking forward to getting some guys back healthy and the throws this weekend in San Diego,” Kraft said.

For Jelmini and Anderson, dealing with problems on the throwing hand can be a difficult injury to train with.

“It’s a big deal for Anna, because she’s been a Pac-12 champion in the shot put,” Kraft said. “For Tom, it’s really even more critical when you’re going from throwing a 16-pound shot put, and the stress on it. And typically those injuries and the result of impatience and poor technique.”

The injuries are of great concern to Kraft and he said he has had discussions with assistant coach David Dumble, who works with the throwers, about the training.

“We need both of them obviously for the Pac-12 and at the NCAA meet,” Kraft said. “It is something that is obviously disconcerting, and I’ve asked coach Dumble, ‘Are we doing anything different in training?’ and try to investigate, see why we have a rash of hand injuries.”

Adrenaline is a big part of the success of athletes but it can also be a part of the problem when it comes to injuries like these to throwers.

“Those events, you have to be patient and let the event unfold from the ground up,” Kraft said. “Sometimes, kids get a little amped up and get ahead of themselves, and that’s what happens when your hand gets hurt.”

Certainly with the Pac-12 meet quickly approaching, the team is not going to risk either Jelmini or Anderson, or any other thrower for that matter, getting injured so close to the most important meet of the season. Jelmini and Anderson will be traveling to La Jolla, Calif., but it is uncertain as to whether they will be participating fully or not.

“Well I think they’re going to warm up and give it a shot,” Kraft said. “Maybe only take two or three throws but we’d like for them to get a couple of throws in. But I’ve told Coach Dumble, they’re both so talented, if we wait two weeks and open them up in the dual meet, that’s fine, too.”

Reach the reporter at wslane@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @bill_slane